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Nuclear deterrence comes in all shapes and sizes

  • Published
  • By Chris Willis
  • 341st Missile Wing Public
When a base is overhauling a piece of equipment and realizes it no longer has a part to complete the repair, it sometimes reaches out across the Air Force to see if another base has that part on its shelves.  

There is a shop at Malmstrom Air Force base whose mission is to deliver that part. The 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron packing and crating shop ensures the successful transit and delivery of various types of resources.

The shop has a team of five personnel pushing out 20 to 30 crates a month and up to 20 pieces of equipment daily.

Senior Airman Matthew Doble, 341st LRS packing and crating journeyman, started working for the shop in April.

"Basically, military parts or equipment leaving the base come through us," said Doble. "We package up many different parts and then ship them to where they need to go, to any location around the world." 

Any given day, the shop could ship parts to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and then package a crate to be sent to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.

"The shop has a technical order we follow and packaging instructions to make sure the crate is always built to standards," said Doble.  "Safety is also important to the shop, because of all the different items we work on and all the different crates we build."

The shop requires proper safety procedures because of the potentially dangerous cutting tools used for the hand-made shipping crates.

Every Airman is also trained in their career field's technical school to work with household goods and inbound cargo. 

"It's funny how many people think this shop is the one that takes care of house hold goods," Doble said jokingly. "A lot of people don't know what we do, but we are pretty important to the base."

The shops day-to-day job requires hard work and attention to detail.  It doesn't matter if the part is for a nuclear missile or just common office equipment.

Senior Airman Lagarrick Gantt, 341st LRS packing and crating journeyman, recently worked at Ramstein AB.

"At Ramstein we shipped a lot of aircraft parts, but here at Malsmtrom the mission is unique because we also deal with nuclear parts," said Gantt. "When we ship out a product, we do it right and in a timely manner, so whoever requires that part can continue to do their mission."